Category Archives: Cheese Wafers

Making Cheese Wafers

My grandmother was born and raised in Chicago, but these wafers seem to me to be Southern in origin. Not only are they topped with pecans, but their flavor profile bears an uncanny resemblance to a classic Southern spread: pimento cheese. Regardless of where they come from you’ll find them rich, tasty and refined. Begin by preheating your oven to 325. Combine the flour, salt and cayenne pepper in a bowl or the bowl of a mixer fitted with the beater and stir on low.

When the dry ingredients are combined, add in the soft butter.

Beat on medium for about two minutes until a dough forms, about like so:

Now add the finely grated cheddar cheese.

The trick to this recipe is to incorporate the cheese thoroughly, to the point that the mixture is virtually homogenous, like a spread. This is why a mixer is handy. If you don’t have one, just knead the dough aggressively until you don’t see the individual shreds of cheese much anymore.

Now roll the dough into small balls and lay them out on an ungreased sheet pan or cookie sheet.

Press them down lightly into disks…

…and top each with a pecan.

Bake about half an hour, cool completely, then break out the peanuts, Manhattans and gin & tonics — because it’s cocktail hour, my friends. Have a lovely weekend.

Filed under:  Cheese Wafers, Pastry | 15 Comments

My Grandmother’s Cheese Wafers

While I’m giving up the family secrets, my mother and sister asked why I didn’t just go ahead and publish my grandmother’s secret cheese wafer recipe. It’s possible they were being sarcastic, but it’s a darn good idea! I’m always looking for more savory baking recipes.

My grandparents, you must understand, were the very soul of gentility. They lived in an elegant country house my grandfather built. He wore a coat to dinner every night of the week in his own home. Their nightly pre-dinner ritual was a dry gin martini. My grandmother called these here favorite martini blotter (“soaker-upper”). I have very fond memories of these. The better the cheese, the better the wafer.

10 ounces (2 cups) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
8 ounces (2 sticks) soft butter
8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese
About 40 unsalted pecan halves (2 ounces)

Preheat your oven to 325. Grate the cheese. Whisk the flour, salt and cayenne pepper together. Rub the butter into the flour mixture, then knead in the cheese — thoroughly. Roll the dough into walnut-sized balls. Place the balls on un-greased cookie sheets. Flatten then with the heel of your hand and place a pecan half on each. Bake 25 minutes. Makes 35- 40.

Filed under:  Cheese Wafers, Pastry | 12 Comments